How to Grow Beard Tongue (Penstemon)

Views: 15348 | Last Update: 2009-04-30
Grow beard tongue plants, or penstemon, by planting them in the spring or fall, providing full hot sun, allowing for good drainage and watering heavily. Bring beard tongue plants inside for the winter to keep them from dying completely with advice from a... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment, we're going to talk about penstemon, or beard's tongue. It's a beautiful plant, and it's originally from Mexico, Texas, and California. So beard's tongue, or penstemon is a beautiful plant that hummingbirds love, and it's native to areas of Mexico, Texas, and even into California. So it's really easy to grow, and even in colder climates because there's many varieties that can handle a lot of frost because they're from the mountains of Mexico and Texas. When you're growing penstemon, you can start it as a seed in the spring, and if you live in a really cold climate, even colder, there's different varieties that are hearty to even zone eight or even to zone six or seven. But any colder than that, they probably won't make it. So you can treat them as an annual or bring them inside for the winter. Now, they're easy to divide. They're just a set of roots -- just like a daisy or something like that. And as long as you've got a stem and a root, you can cut it right down the middle. You'll have another plant. And the easiest time to plant them is in the spring or even in the fall, if you live in a warmer climate like the Pacific Northwest. We can plant them any time of the year. They have beautiful, frilly flowers that come in bright pinks and bright purples, and my hummingbirds love the penstemon. They're in there all summer long. They're one of my favorite hummingbird plants, and they're so easy to grow. I just love them in my garden. They multiply very quickly, so start with a small plant and before long, you'll have a huge clump. So you do have to divide them out every few years. But if you're looking for a great plant, easy plant to grow, full, hot sun, good drainage -- they want lots of water, but they want to dry out in between. So penstemon are a must for your garden, especially if you want to attract hummingbirds.